The Red-eye flight is not one I want to take ever again. I have a hard enough time sleeping laying down. Sitting up in an uncomfortable seat surrounded by people with my daughters tossing and turning all night in the seats next to me and noises and lights going on and off randomly is not surprisingly not an environment that helps my situation. The pretzels and ginger ale kinda helped my motion sickness but I still ended up with an upset stomach.
Despite that misery I was able to function well enough that the car rental company allowed me to take one of their vehicles from the airport. The kids and I stopped for a quick breakfast at Denny's (I can't believe how expensive it is there these days!) where I got blueberry pancakes, Afton got French Toast, Cora got Silver Dollar Pancakes, Heath got some sort of breakfast sandwich and Kirkham got Moons Over My Hammy. He tried to just point to the picture to make his order but the waitress wouldn't write it down until he said it. She patiently waited, giggling and insisted "You've gotta say it!" We all thought that was funny.
I was so very tired but I was able to drive three hours South without incident. For the safety of all travelling I did have to stop halfway through the drive for a power nap at a Rest Stop though. I must have knocked out quick because when Heath woke me up the girls were outside the car laying on a patch of green grass soaking up some cool rays of Washington sunshine--the real kind, and Kirkham had a bottle of Sprite in his hand and was offering me a swig. Where he got that from I'm not sure. I know I wouldn't have allowed the girls to go lay out if I had had my senses about me, obviously I didn't. I'm glad everyone was safe.
We said another prayer as we headed back onto the freeway and I warned the kids I was still really tired and we might have to stop again. Heath began rambling on about studies on power naps and how 20 minutes is all a person really needs. Kirkham chirped in with, "Don't worry mom, we'll keep you awake." and then he turned up the radio and everyone started singing at the top of their lungs.
As we drove down I-5 the kids would randomly call out, "Oh I remember this place!" Most of the time I would stop them and tell them no we hadn't ever been this far North with them. That is until we rounded the corner and approached Seattle. (Did I fail to mention we flew into Bellingham to save ourselves about $1000) Then everyone exploded into cheers. Seattle, they knew Seattle. We spotted the Space Needle and searched for Gramma Jewel's old building in the skyline.
Amazingly we made it all the way to University Place in record time and knocked on Gramma Heather's door at 12:30pm. We caught her still in her pajamas, vacuuming and washing sheets. She quickly forgave us all for getting there before she was done getting ready for us and smothered us with hugs and kisses. The kids quickly started their quick explore of the house and I heard again and again, "Oh, I remember this. I remember this." Cora pulled out the old crutches she used to play with and found them about a foot shorter than she remembered. Kirkham went out to the wildflower garden he had helped gramma plant and found the flowers a few feet taller than he had remembered. The girls pulled out all the little animals and cars they used to play with and began lining them up. Heath checked on Grandpa's bikes and new office and new TV set up.
Grandma made us some healthy pita chip nachos with mango salsa after her quick shower and we settled in with all our luggage. Then the planning began. I needed to return the one-way rental car, stop off at the bank to take care of some business for my rental house, go over to pick up the suburban I am renting from a friend for the month, and get the boys over to their friend's house in time to go to graduation with them.
Everything took a little longer than I anticipated. I forgot how far everything is from each other and how bad traffic can be. I had some issues to resolve with the rental company. The bank took some extra time because I didn't have the account information that they wanted me to have. I took extra time at my friend's house because she just moved in and I had to see her lovely gardens and super cool and big sewing room and her daughter's bedroom. (BTW-I am in love with her sewing room. She had all her fabrics carefully folded and organized by color and stacked on tall white built in bookshelves. It was gorgeous and I was jealous of her beautiful wall full of fabrics.) The boys did not end up going to graduation because by the time we got to their friend's house plans had changed. They still ended up spending the rest of the evening with their friends though.
Before going back to Mom's, where my girls were hanging out, I stopped by my house, the rental. The renter moved out almost a month ago now and the yard certainly shows it. Things grow so fast here during the summer and surprisingly also dry out quick. I know she has gone over a couple times to water the lawns and to mow but that was out of the kindness of her heart, her contract was up. I will have to get over there this week to do some yardwork before the new tenant signs his agreement. I was pleased to find some ripe raspberries and cherries to snack on and was even more pleased to find the inside of the house in pretty good condition. Not a whole lot to do in there before the new guy moves in. Phew.
I spent a few minutes talking to a few neighbors but I could feel myself getting really tired. I headed back to mom's house and spent the rest of the night hanging out with the girls and mom and dad. The boys got home around 9:30 and invited their friends in for a bit to visit with grandma and grandpa. I sure do love that they like their grandma and grandpa enough to invite friends over to meet them. I have awesome kids. I'm glad they are already enjoying this visit.